• Keeping Friends

Toronto Sun Asks the Friendship Doctor about Rent-A-Friend

Published: August 31, 2010 | Last Updated: September 8, 2016 By | Reply Continue Reading

Website Let’s You Rent a Friend

Paying for sex remains taboo (and illegal), but could paying for friends be the start of a new trend?

By Sarah Millar, QMI Agency

August 31, 2010


Dr. Irene Levine, author of the book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Break-Up with Your Best Friend and thefriendshipblog.com, said sites such as Rent-A-Friend concern her because the relationship between the "friends" is unbalanced from the get-go.

"I think that the fatal flaw of a service like Rent-a-Friend is that the relationship isn’t equal, balanced or reciprocal because ‘rent’ is being paid. For that reason, it is likely to be more transient than a real friendship," she explains.

"Will a rented friend hang around when you no longer can or want to pay? If you get sick? Are his/her motivations the same as yours? What commitment do you have to the rented friend?"

While Levine admits that there is a chance that some of the people who meet on the site can become "real friends," the odds are slim because there is little to bind these relationships except money.

"Real friendships are built slowly as people connect with each other and even they are dynamic and transient. My suspicion is that rent-a-friendships are even more fleeting."


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